March 30, 2018 / 4:10 AM / 4 months ago

Thai Feb factory output rises 4.66 pct y/y, beats forecast

    BANGKOK, March 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's annual industrial
output rose more than expected in February, boosted by higher
production of cars, petroleum, hard drives and plastic pellets.
    The manufacturing production index (MPI) in February
increased 4.66 percent from a year earlier after January's 4.70
percent rise, which was revised up from a 3.44 percent gain
stated earlier, the Industry Ministry said on Friday.
    The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for a 3.9 percent
rise in February.
    The ministry expects the index to rise 2 percent this year
after gaining 1.58 percent last year.
    In February, capacity utilisation at factories eased to
70.43 percent from January's revised 70.55 percent.
    Industrial goods account for 80 percent of exports, which in
turn make up about two-thirds of the Thai economy, the
second-largest in Southeast Asia.
    The state planning agency has forecast 2018 economic growth
of 3.6-4.6 percent after last year's 3.9 percent, the fastest
pace in five years.
    Data from the Industry Ministry's Office of Industrial
Economics: (not seasonally adjusted)
 Month              Feb       Jan       Dec      Nov      Oct
 % change y/y     +4.66    +4.70*    +5.80*   +6.29*   +1.02*
 % change m/m     -0.03    +5.01*    -3.24*   +6.53*    -5.04
 * Revised 

 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon
Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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